ENTREPRENEURS CAN’T CONTINUE IN EDMONTON
Last year was
upbeat. A group of Edmonton entrepreneurs brought a highly successful
Canadian Open event to Edmonton, making it a larger event for one year
than the one promoter John Nimick ran in Toronto. They had been enthusiastic
about an even better event in 2004.
But today is
a sad day for professional squash in Canada. "The Canadian Open will
not go forward in 2004" stated Tournament Director Kevin MacMillen
when contacted early Friday. "Shareholder support evaporated which
stopped our team from going ahead. We are hopeful that we can solve these
issues and carry on but timing remains uncertain."
It was just
last year that the Open was resurrected after a 9 year hiatus from the
PSA tour and from all indications was a huge success. Being in attendance
from the quarter finals onward the event appeared first class all the
way. The tournament featured a full 32 man draw, boasted $80,000US in
total prize money, Super Series Silver status plus received both domestic
and international television coverage. The all-glass court was set-up
in the World’s largest shopping mall providing maximum exposure for the
sport and the final was staged by Canadian Jonathon Power and Peter Nicol.
(Nicol won 3 straight) All the intangibles were in place.
the Executive Director for Squash Canada agrees. "We thought last
years event was outstanding not only for Squash Canada but for the sport
as a whole. I’m truly disheartened to learn about this however we are
trusting that things will work themselves out as we would definitely like
to see the event continue in 2005."
In any sporting
venture sponsor dollars are key. No dollars no event.
MacMillen and ProSquash Edmonton will no doubt be working diligently to
put the pieces back together and his final comment provides a glimmer
of hope, "I might have something cooking…stay tuned."
an opening in the PSA’s November timeslot, John Nimick has confirmed that
The Pace Credit Union Canadian Classic will return to it’s mid-November
spot. This will mark the fifth straight year John Nimick and Event Engine
will bring professional squash to Toronto’s BCE Place.
And in the ongoing
Canadian battle between Toronto and Edmonton for mindshare, Toronto has
the professional squash upper hand at the moment
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